cover image City Girl

City Girl

Patricia Scanlan, Patricia Scanlon. Island, $5.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-440-21275-1

Though this epic soap tale touches down briefly in New York City, Saudi Arabia and London, its heart is really in Dublin, where beautiful and brainy Devlin Delaney is the co-owner and founder of City Girl, an oh-so-posh women's health club. The young entrepreneur's seeming insouciance is belied by a painful and complicated past, one that is nevertheless brightened by her enduring relationships with bosom buddies Caroline Stacey and Maggie Ryan. Sustained by their unfailing faith in the future and in each other, the three women weather such stormy periods as when unwed Devlin decides to keep her baby, Caroline turns to pills and alcohol to survive an abusive marriage, and Maggie plans to leave her philandering husband. Not all is tragic, however, in the lives of these three lusty and larger-than-life heroines: Devlin finds true love, Caroline pulls herself out of her drug-mired haze and Maggie writes a book that promises to tell all about the rarefied Saudi society she observes while overseas. Mildly entertaining, this first novel is spun as lightly as cotton candy and leaves just as sticky a residue. Major ad/promo. (Aug.)